The ‘great rescue’ of heritage in museums across Ukraine
Relocating works and heritage on display at the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum, Ukraine’s largest art and culture facility, is an extremely difficult task for all staff here.
Ihor Kozhan, director of the museum in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, said that the entire workforce was mobilized to dismantle the works within just a week. Mr. Kozhan also explained more about the urgency they face when “everything is caught up in the conflict, if the works of art are to survive, they must be moved to underground tunnels”.
|The portrait of Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky painted by Oleksa Novakivsky was the last to be taken down in the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv on March 7|
Similar to the situation at the Andrey Sheptytsky Museum, all the galleries, exhibitions, collectors of antiquities, art… are having a headache in packing and finding places to keep hundreds of thousands of works. and heritage of the country. The statues, colorful glass windows are all covered with bulletproof materials. The cellars are filled with works of art that are many years old.
In Ukraine’s two most “rich” cities of heritage, Lviv and Odessa, volunteers spent days lining up hundreds of sandbags around the monument to Duke Richelieu, one of the founders of the international port city. However, they were also unable to fully cover the statue’s outstretched head and right arm.
|Volunteers load sandbags around the statue of Duke Richelieu in Odessa on March 10|
Meanwhile, Kyiv and Kharkiv, the country’s two largest cities, are said to have suffered severe losses.
The windows of Kharkiv’s main art museum were all shattered, leaving the 25,000 artworks inside covered in ice and snow for weeks. The city’s opera and ballet theaters have also been affected somewhat.
|Bare walls at the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv|
25 works by one of Ukraine’s most famous painters, Maria Prymachenko, known for her dramatic color representations of Ukrainian folklore and rural life, were burned while the museum was in storage. these works in a town on the outskirts of the capital Kiev was bombed. Other museums in the Ukrainian capital still have works inside because most of the staff have been evacuated.
|The statues, sculptures, frescoes and glass windows at the Basilica of Assumption in Lviv are all covered with protective coverings.|
Lazare Eloundou Assomo, director of the United Nations’ World Heritage Program, said: “The center of the cities is severely damaged, in some places there are monuments built in the 11th century. The cultural life of many generations is in danger of disappearing altogether.
Kirill Lipatov, scientific director of the Odessa Museum of Fine Arts, said: “Some of the paintings inside the museum are elaborately painted from the 1820s, including iconic works from the past. 19th century by Ivan Aivazovsky and Ilya Repin”.
|Collections from the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv have all been taken down and placed in a safe area|
While museums often have their own bunkers and extensive networks with other institutions across Europe to “submit” works, independent galleries and artists in Ukraine are completing the process. must rely on each other.
|Anna Potyomkina, a freelance artist, is packing art for the cellar|
One of the most successful efforts to protect contemporary art is taking place in Ivano-Frankivsk, a city in western Ukraine. Here, a group of artists converted an underground cafe into a bunker to store works. Working day and night with a network of truckers, works by more than 30 artists – from delicate collages, wall sculptures to giant paintings have been delivered here from all over Ukraine. 11 artists have left their homes to continue the artistic path despite this difficult period.
Do An (According to the Washington Post)
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